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Himalayan Headstones from Ladakh Kashmir

Himalayan Headstones from Ladakh Kashmir

Himalayan Headstones from Ladakh Kashmir

Ref: KAB-03

Supplied by Kabristan Archives.

Since the mid-1800s, Ladakh has attracted many travellers who have attempted to unravel the mysterious vastness of this forbidden land. The main town Leh was once a principal market place for the old trade route from Kashghar to Srinagar, there was money to made and the European traders wanted their share. The German Moravian missionaries sought to convert the local Buddhists to Christianity with medical treatment and schools. Their presence on the whole was seen to be beneficial. The explorers confined their activities to the mountain regions, mapping the uncharted valleys and the army officers searched for game in the remote hills.

With an increased European activity in the area, Leh soon had a British Residency, which provided accommodation for some of the visitors. The main burial ground in Leh was the European Cemetery then part of the Residency garden. The Moravians had their own a little way out of the town. There are some isolated graves in the valleys south of Kargil, north of Baltistan and on the Karakorum Pass on the way to Kashghar. Many of the graves are obliterated but it has been possible to compile the epitaphs and biographical details from written sources which provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of these remarkable men and women.

By Eileen Hewson
Illus. BACSA 2002 , paperback 40 pages.